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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Some of you maybe aware that changes are being made to the EYFS. For further information please see policy below. Ide Hill Pre-School will ensure these changes take place from September 2021.

In line with the Revised EYFS we have created a new ambitious curriculum following In the Moment Planning (ITMP)

Foundation Years logo
Click the logo to read more on the Foundation Years web site.

Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 (EYFS)

The main focus within our Early Years practice and provision within the past three years, has been to develop effective methods which support communication and language as the vehicle for teaching and learning. In addition, developing reflective practice to encourage spontaneous and ‘in the moment’ planning within the continuous and enhanced provision, supporting greater pitch and pace, for differentiation and enhanced experiences for learning.


This policy is based on requirements set out in the 2021 statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Changes to the EYFS

Some of you may be aware that changes are being made to the EYFS from September 2021. Ide Hill Pre-School will ensure these changes take place in September 2021.

In line with the revised EYFS we have created a new ambitious curriculum for the pre-school following ‘In the moment planning’ (ITMP).

The new EYFS statutory framework was published on 31 March 2021 by the Department for Education (DfE) and legislation laid in Parliament. This is the revised and final EYFS framework that all registered nurseries, childminders, schools and pre-schools in England will follow from 1 September 2021.

Key objectives of the reforms

The reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) have been a number of years in the making. The aim is to strengthen early years curriculum, assessment and practice to improve outcomes for all children and close the gap for disadvantaged children. This is particularly crucial in light of the current pandemic.

 The changes were developed with childhood development experts using the latest evidence on what is most important for supporting the learning and development of our youngest children. The reforms have been piloted and consulted on, and over 3,000 schools are currently taking part in an early adoption year.

As outlined in the official response to the public consultation, published on 1 July 2020, government has reformed the framework to transform early years curriculum and assessment, focusing on what matters most for children’s outcomes:

  • A strong and holistic curriculum that puts early language development at the heart;
  • A streamlined and effective assessment process through a revised EYFS profile and removing statutory local authority moderation, which will reduce unnecessary workload and cement the EYFSP as a tool that is designed to support children’s transition to year 1;
  • A new requirement to promote good oral health.

There are also a number of small amendments to section 3 safety and welfare to make existing requirements clearer and to provide updates. A summary of these amendments and why they have been made can be found here

Government understands that this year has been a particularly difficult and challenging time for the early years sector, with children’s learning disrupted across all ages. The intended aims of the reforms – focusing on children’s outcomes and reducing unnecessary evidence gathering and paperwork so practitioners and teachers can spend more time interacting with children in their care – will provide a powerful basis for supporting children’s learning and wellbeing through and beyond COVID-19.


This policy aims to ensure:

  • That children access a broad and balanced curriculum that gives them the broad range of knowledge and skills needed for good progress through school and life
  • Quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
  • Close partnership working between practitioners and with parents and carers
  • Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice


From September 2021, Ide Hill Pre-school will follow the Curriculum as outlined in the 2021 Statutory Framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS framework outlines the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning and the 7 areas of Development (CoETL). The CoETL are organised into three primary strands and are essential components towards children becoming self regulated learners. These are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

Our curriculum planning and topics cover the following:

There are 7 curriculum areas of development.

These are divided into Prime and Specific areas of learning.

Three prime areas :-

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

Communication and language underpins all areas of learning within our early years curriculum and continues to be developed within our provision, teaching, learning and planning methods. The prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. Planned learning supports the progress and development of listening and speaking, enabling children to process information into thinking and understanding.

Children practise their physical skills alongside developing social skills, which supports greater independence and higher levels of confidence.

And the four specific areas:-

  • Literacy
  • Understanding the World
  • Mathematics
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The 4 specific areas of learning provide a context for development and reflect cultural knowledge and accumulated understanding. They are dependent on learning in the Prime areas. Our continuous provision demonstrates a strong emphasis upon supporting children’s understanding of the world along with enabling them to express themselves imaginatively and creatively, using art and design. New learning and topics are adapted to reflect the needs of the children and their interests.


The 3 prime areas are at the core of early years planning. Staff carefully plan activities which enable children to link personal experiences with new learning, providing a wide range of contexts to revisit, practise, apply, and develop transferable skills and understanding. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of using sensory play in the development of language skills, alongside enhancing provision for identified groups of children.

Staff take into account the individual needs, interests, and stages of development of each child in their care and use this information to plan challenging and enjoyable experiences. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate. Staff are reflective in their practice and systematically observe and evaluate the effectiveness and value of planned provision within the inside and outside learning spaces. They respond to children’s levels of interest and engagement, ensuring accurate pitch and pace for developing cognition and learning. Planning and interactions are supported by progressive sequences of questioning to develop thinking, understanding and language for reasoning.

Teaching Early Years practice demonstrates a balance between play and formal teaching. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult led and child-initiated activities. As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities, to help children prepare for their transition to Reception.

Staff interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play, provides rich opportunities for communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges. Staff understand that play is about much more than content but helps to build flexible minds and an enquiring spirit. Staff respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. They take into account the equipment provided and the attention to the physical environment as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations.

Staff understand that teaching is in every activity provided within all of the learning environments. There are no activities that occur in the setting which adults do not consider to be opportunities for teaching. While staff do not always know where these opportunities will present themselves, it is the skill of the adults that enable them to readily recognise the ‘teachable moments’ when they arise and respond to them appropriately.

You can find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage on the gov.uk website.

Find out about the SEND local provision

Download the overview document

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